Wednesday, September 28, 2022

How To Add More Solar Panels

Will The New Panels Be Eligible For The Stc Rebate

HOW TO | Add More Solar Panels

Yes, the new panels will be eligible for the STC rebate if certain conditions are met.

Currently the average size of a solar panel is 330+ watts. At today’s current rates a 330W panel receives a rebate of approximately $175 per panel! This is definitely nothing to sneeze at, so it is important for the new panels to comply with the conditions required to be eligible for the STC rebate.

Furthermore it may also not be legal to add panels to the existing system if these conditions are not met as some relate to new Australian Standards that have been introduced. These conditions will be touched on in the following content.

Can I Add More Solar Panels To My Existing System

There are many factors to consider in upgrading a system. Panel size, inverter capacity, and space are going to be the biggest deciders.

As far as possible, stick with the same manufacturer. But since brands come and go, it isnt unheard of to mix and match components as long as the voltage is compatible and can be balanced it can generally work. Not the best scenario, but if options are limited as far as whats available, it is possible. However, if the panels are too unbalanced, they will only perform as good as the lowest wattage panels.

For example: Say you had a system installed 5 years ago comprised of 200W panels and you are looking to now increase the size of the array. If you connected 330W panels to the 200W panels string, your 330W panels would only produce up to 200W.

Also, inverters can only handle so much power. Since your system was sized accordingly when it was designed, the inverter may be limited in the amount it can process. Sometimes inverters are installed that can handle additional panels , so take a look at the size of the inverter you have installed already to see whether or not it can handle more power.

So, what to do?

If you have not had a system installed yet and are just trying to plan ahead for the future, there are a few key things to make note of as far as adding solar panels:

Adding Panels To A Roof Mount

In order to expand the solar array on the roof, youll have to add on more racking and connect the panels to the existing combiner box and charge controller, as long as it can carry the increased load of power.

Expanding a roof-mounted system can be a bit trickier, since space is limited. A portion of your roof may not provide a viable build space, if it faces the wrong direction or is covered in shade.

What happens if you run out of space on your roof?

The first option is to replace some modules with higher efficiency versions to bring you up to speed. If thats not enough, you can also pair your solar array with an alternate power source like wind or hydropower. Be aware that these options are limited depending on access to local resources it wont be an efficient option in areas with low wind speeds or strong water currents.

Recommended Reading: How Does Solar Panel Energy Work

How Much Does It Cost To Add More Solar Panels To My Home

The answer to this question also depends on the number of additional panels you choose to add as well as the factors mentioned above. Well do everything we can to get you the lowest possible price on solar panels. Its important to us that you find the best possible deal. Again, in order to be sure, just reach out to us so we can perform an energy assessment with you over the phone.

Installer To Add On The Panels

Can I just add more solar panels to my roof to upgrade my ...

Does your original installer do add-on projects? If so, its going to be the easiest to contact them first to see if they can do the work. They will already be familiar with your system and property and will be best equipped to add more panels onto their own handiwork.

That being said, this may not be an option for you if you had a bad experience with your original installer, or if theyve since gone out of business. You can always shop around for a new installer to do the work when it comes adding more panels onto your solar array but may have a harder time finding a solar company to do the work. Some installation companies that will avoid doing add-on projects for installations that arent their own. This happens for two major reasons: they dont want to deal with conflicting warranties on the overall installation, or the size of the project isnt large enough. A lot of installation companies wont want to encounter disputes down the line about whose job it is to fix a part of the system, especially because the original work is not their own and they cant stand by it.

With regards to system size, many installers have a minimum system size they will install for their own profit margins. A typical add-on project may be installing only a few panels, which will mean much less profit than they would see on a standard residential installation. Depending on their resources and installation calendar, many companies will choose to focus their efforts on larger projects.

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How To Connect Solar Panels Together

Connecting solar panels together is a simple and effective way of increasing your solar power capabilities. Going green is a great idea, and as the sun is our ultimate power source, it makes sense to utilize this energy to power our homes. As solar power becomes more accessible, more and more homeowners are buying photovoltaic solar panels.

However, these photovoltaic solar panels can be very costly so buying them over time helps to spread the cost. But the problem then becomes how do we connect these extra solar panels together to increase the voltage and power output of whats already there.

The trick here when connecting solar panels together is to choose a connection method that is going to give you the most energy efficient configuration for your particular requirements.

Connecting solar panels together can seem like a daunting task when you first start to look at how it should be done, but connecting multiple solar panels together is not that hard with a little thought. Wiring solar panels together in either parallel or series combinations to make larger arrays is an often overlooked, yet completely essential part of any well designed solar power system.

There are three basic but very different ways of connecting solar panels together and each connection method is designed for a specific purpose. For example, to produce more output voltage or to produce more current.

Solar Panels In Series Of Different Voltages

In this method all the solar panels are of different types and power rating but have a common current rating. When they are connected together in series, the array produces 21 volts at 3.0 amps, or 63 watts. Again the output amperage will remain the same as before at 3.0 amps but the voltage output jumps to 21 volts .

Finally, lets look at connecting solar panels in series with completely different nominal voltages and different current ratings.

Also Check: How Much Can Solar Panels Save Me

Selling A House With Solar Panels

If your home has solar panels, you’re likely in a good position when it comes time to sell. For most prospective buyers, a house with solar panels is an attractive concept. Studies have also shown that solar panels can increase the value of a property by up to 4%. You’ll also have a competitive edge in the market, as homes with solar panels can sell up to two times faster than those without.

How Do I Fit Another Solar Panel

Upgrading the Solar Array | Adding 2 More Solar Panels

Solar panel corner mountings

You will probably want to fit either a standard rigid framed solar panel or a semi-flexible solar panel.

A rigid solar panel can be attached to the roof or deck using brackets or PVC mounting pads.

A semi-flexible panel should be glued directly to the surface. Your supplier should provide instructions on how to do this.

NOTE: Before doing any work on your solar panel system, cover the existing solar panels and remove the fuses between the charge controller and the batteries.

Diagram 1. General wiring arrangement for a dual battery solar panel system. This diagram shows the wiring for a motorhome but also applies to a yacht or boat.

Diagram 2. How to connect another solar panel if you have a connection or junction box.

Diagram 3. How to connect another solar panel if you have a watertight gland.

Read Also: How Fast Do Solar Panels Pay For Themselves

Wiring Solar Panels When Using A String Inverter

String inverters have a rated voltage window that they need from the solar panels in order to operate. It also has a rated current that the inverter needs to function properly.

String inverters have maximum power point trackers in them that can vary the current and voltage to produce the maximum amount of power possible.

In most crystalline solar panels, the open circuit voltage is around 40 Volts. Most string inverters have an operational voltage window between 300 and 500 volts. This would mean that when designing a system, you could have between 8 and 12 panels in a series.

Any more than that would exceed the maximum voltage the inverter could handle.

The thing is, most solar panel systems are larger than 12 panels. So, in order to have more panels in the system, you could wire another series of panels, and connect those series in parallel. This allows you to have the right number of panels to meet your homes energy needs, without exceeding the limits of your inverter.

How Much Does A Solar Panel Cost

Prices have been coming down steadily over the years. The total cost will depend on how many kilowatts of power your array will generate. According to consumer reports, after solar tax credits are accounted for, the cost for a solar panel system on an average-sized house in the U.S. in 2021 ranges from $11,000 to $15,000.

Recommended Reading: How Many Solar Panels To Heat A Pool

What Does It Cost To Add More Solar Panels

  • Posted on

Thought about replacing your existing solar?

The latest edition of the Perth Solar Warehouse solar price list includes all the following need to know information replacement system options and more:

  • Fully installed 3.3kW, 6.6kW& 10kW+ system prices.
  • Exclusive discounts & interactive price guide.
  • Mix & match inverter technology.

When in the first contact with a solar company, the reluctance to add more solar panels to an existing solar system is often deafening. As frustrating as it can be, there is usually a good reason for such hesitation.

Particular laws and accountability for solar systems structured in Australia present little enthusiasm for alternative installers to expand or alter an existing solar PV system, and the relating hesitation is often derived from the following areas:

What’s Inside!

Existing inverter compatibility.

Prepping for future system expansion at the time of purchasing the original system sounded like a great idea, and no doubt cost a fair amount extra, in case you needed to expand. In any other industry, this would have been a superb idea. The downside is that between the time you first decided to install solar to the time that you have decided to expand, chances are the original inverter is no longer on the CEC Approved Solar inverters list.

Past installation standards.

The cost to bring the original system up to current requirements must be factored into the price to add more solar panels.

Warranty obligations.

Adding Solar And Batteries

Adding a couple more solar panels to the rv

More and more people are adding solar panels to their existing solar system because they also plan on adding batteries. Often, the additional solar panels and the battery bank are installed together at a package price.

When adding batteries, there is a wide variety of approaches, each of which as its own pros and cons. Weve listed the main options below so that you have an idea about what to expect, but your installer/system designer might suggest something different, or a combination of the below.

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Solar Panels In Parallel Of Same Characteristics

In this method ALL the solar panels are of the same type and power rating. Using the same three 6 Volt, 3.0 Amp panels as above, the total output of the panels, when connected together in parallel, the output voltage still remains at the same value of 6 volts, but the total amperage has now increased to 9.0 Amperes , producing 54 watts at full sun.

But what if our newly acquired solar panels are non-identical, how will this affect the other panels. We have seen that the currents add together, so no real problem there, just as long as the panel voltages are the same and the output voltage remains constant. Lets look at connecting solar panels in parallel with different nominal voltages and different current ratings.

What Feed In Tariff Are You On

The feed in tariff that your solar power system is connected to is a factor to consider before adding additional solar panels. As every state has different feed in tariffs and different requirements and stipulations it is a bit of a mine field. As it stands in South-East QLD and NSW the following are the options

QLD 44c Feed in Tariff

If youre connected to this feed in tariff its in your best interests to add as many solar panels to your system as your inverter will allow. The more solar panels you have the more power you will produce surplus to your requirements, and youll receive the 44c per kWh feed in tariff rate for this extra surplus power. If youre on this feed in tariff you can add as many solar panels as you like to your existing solar inverter but you cannot install a larger inverter: if you do you will lose the 44c feed in tariff. If you have a small solar inverter and you use heaps of power during the day then losing this feed in tariff may not be a concern you could put in a larger inverter or an additional system to try and eliminate your day time power consumption. You would lose the feed in tariff but youre not benefiting from it anyway if youre already consuming all the solar power you generate.Make the most of the QLD 44c solar power net feed in tariff here

QLD Net Feed in Tariff
NSW Gross Feed in Tariff
NSW Net Feed in Tariff

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Does The Use Of Microinverters Or Optimizers Change How Solar Panels Are Wired

The use of microinverters or optimizers in the design of your solar system can help avoid inverter-size limitations that string inverters have. By having each panel connected to its own microinverter, your system can be expanded one panel at a time.

This can be done with existing string inverters that are maxed out, provided that the additional panels are wired on the AC side of the string inverter.

How To Add Panels To Your Roof

Can I just add more solar panels on to my roof to upgrade my existing solar system?

If you have additional roof space with good sun exposure, its relatively simple to install more solar panels on a new section of rack. These additional panels can usually be tied into the existing string, giving you more solar capacity without any major changes to your current system. This is the ideal scenario for an upgrade, and customers who know theyll be expanding their system later can plan the initial design with an eventual upgrade in mind. However, upgrades arent always this simple. Roof space, inverter capacity, and sun exposure can all limit your ability to expand your system. With a little creativity, however, its still possible to increase your system size.

If youre expanding your system by a considerable amount, certain municipalities may impose limits or require further approval for extra panels, so talk to your solar installer about any additional permissions you may need before you proceed.

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Can I Add More Solar Panels To An Existing System

Yes, if you bought your solar system from Freedom Forever, and there is room for them, you can add solar panels to your existing system. You can also add home batteries if you want to start storing some of the power youre generating. You may need to change the inverter in your solar system to one that can handle the additional current being supplied by your newly-expanded system.

Current Size Of Solar System

The size of your current system may influence how many more solar panels you plan to add. If your solar installation stays below 3.68kW generation with the added panels, there shouldnt be any problem.

If you plan to generate over 3.68kW with the added panels, youll have to submit a G59 application form to the Distribution Network Officer . You must receive permission before installation can commence. This is to determine whether the increased size of the system can operate within the existing grid framework. Your installer can help you with the application process, but it may take several months before you get a response.

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Connecting Solar Panels Together In Parallel

The next method we will look at of connecting solar panels together is whats known as Parallel Wiring. Connecting solar panels together in parallel is used to boost the total system current and is the reverse of the series connection. For parallel connected solar panels you connect all the positive terminals together and all of the negative terminals together until you are left with a single positive and negative connection to attach to your regulator and batteries.

When you connect solar panels together in parallel, the total voltage output remains the same as it would for a single panel, but the output current becomes the sum of the output of each panel as shown.

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